Bad Religion - No Substance (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion

No Substance (1998)


This album seems to have been pretty much ignored; for reasons I really can't understand. Various reviews (written recently) seem to say "No Substance = No Substance" - how wrong they are.

If you screamed "Sell-Out" after Stranger than Fiction, you've probably only just let yourself and your NOFX fan friends listen to Bad Religion again. Ok,ok - enough of that (don't even get me started on EMO).

Admittedly it was the first BR album I actually bought, and well it stayed in the CD player for a hell of a long time. Right from the beginning of the album there seemed to be a lot more solos than the others; I'm not sure if this Brian adding some of himself to the whole sound, whatever it was; it sounded good.

Insanely fast lyrics on the opening track "Hear It" - printing the lyrics on the cover sleeve has never before made so much sense (fortunately Greg's voice is audible unlike many).

Each song on the album gets down to some serious issues and with some great lyrics (that got myself and my cousin hooked on BR in fact) such as "And you sit there and watch the world go around / From your pseudo-benevalent vantage point" from "Sowing the Seeds of Utopia" (I was damn pleased they played this at The Forum, London - back in February).

The Best tracks would have to be: "Hear It", "Shades of Truth", "No Substance", "Sowing The Seeds of Utopia", "The State of the end of the millennium address" (almost like a sequel to "Voice of God is Government") and "In So Many Ways". Don't think this means all the other songs are rubbish; since they're all excellent songs - better than many other bands' "best" songs or whole albums put together.

A brilliant album, slightly better in my opinion than "The Gray Race" but easily a "The New America" killer (each all damn good albums remember). The only thing that rivals it really is the holy Trilogy ("Suffer", "No Control" & "Against The Grain". "Recipe For Hate" being an album that is amazing in its own right regardless. Ignore what the "harder core than thou" (Jello rules by the way) say; get this amazing album.